AtMLA Fall 2016 Chapter Meeting Summary

The Atlantic Chapter had its annual fall conference for 2016 on October 21st-22nd. The conference was hosted on the gorgeous campus of the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. The conference was well attended, the company friendly and interesting, and the sessions informative.The sessions on Friday were held in the main campus library, the Earl Gregg Swem library. Melissa Wertheimer was the first to present on what she has found in the MLA archives. This was Melissa’s first ATMLA conference and she exuded love of the archives that holds the MLA documents.

Melissa was followed by James Cassaro, presenting on the Florencio Asenjo Collection at the University of Pittsburgh. Florencio G. Asenjo (1927-2013) was an Argentinian-born composer and mathematician, whose collection of manuscript/papers was gifted to the University by Asenjo’s son, Julian Asenjo.

Friday’s sessions were closed by the presentation of current and past William & Mary students, Nathaniel Clemens and Robert LaRose.  Nathaniel and Robert presented on the process they went through trying to create Music Copyright educational videos.  They worked closely with their advisor Kathleen DeLaurenti, who received funding through ALA’s Robert A. Oakley Memorial Scholarship, to research, strategize, and execute their videos and even had the chance to work directly with a composition student.

Another highlight of the conference was the tour of the “Changing Keys” exhibit at the Dewitt Wallace Art Museum. We were treated to a joint lecture/performance by the curator of the exhibit John Watson and Tom Marshall, piano/harpsichord William & Mary faculty member. The exhibit included keyboard instruments, ranging in date from 1700 to 1830.

Saturday morning the conference was moved to the Music building.  After breakfast and networking, the first presenter of the morning, Jennifer Meixelsperger, discussed the experience of switching from a paper manual to a website based manual for student employees, using Google Sites.

Thom Pease gave a musical journey through three collections available in the Recorded Sound Section of the Library of Congress, making sure that the conference had more music.  The last sessions of Saturday were by Carl Rahkonen, followed by Elizabeth Hogue and Madeline Dietrich. Carl Rahkonen shared his research on Finnish American Worker’s Music, sending around a copy of one of the books of music he found.

In the final presentation, Maddie and Elizabeth discussed how they promoted the F. Ludwig Diehn composer’s room at Old Dominion University.

The conference concluded with the business meeting and the changing of guard for the Chapter chair.  David King and Steve Henry entertained the crowd with some juggling before David handed over the gavel to Kathleen DeLaurenti, ATMLA’s new Chair.  It was a successful conference and much thanks goes to Kathleen DeLaurenti and those who helped to organize!  Please consider donating to the MLA Diversity Fund.  At the business meeting, ATMLA decided to donate $500 dollars and to match the individual contributions of Atlantic Chapter members up to an additional $500.  This means that if we reach our goal we will contribute a total contribution of $1,500! Please log into your account on the MLA website and donate.